Coral selection and nitrates ?

BRS

Angel_V_the_reefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
106
Reaction score
41
Location
Houston, Texas
Hey guys, so I come to you guys today with a question. So I currently have a 20 gallon tank with 2 clownfish at the moment with no corals yet. I plan on buying coral very soon , however I’ve noticed my nitrates are on the higher side. On a freshwater change (which I do weekly) I change about 5 gallons, which usually brings my nitrates from 20ppm to 5ppm . I’m not sure what kind of corals would thrive in these parameters or how I could lower/maybe even slow down how fast my nitrates rise ? I would love to add zoanthids, just don’t know how well LPS would cope with these levels! Also, all my other parameters are excellent and stable, it’s really only my nitrates that rise super fast. I feed my clowns pellets while every now and then feeding my sis shrimp. Thanks !
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Marketplace Rating
View Shop
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
1,906
Location
Chicago
Hey guys, so I come to you guys today with a question. So I currently have a 20 gallon tank with 2 clownfish at the moment with no corals yet. I plan on buying coral very soon , however I’ve noticed my nitrates are on the higher side. On a freshwater change (which I do weekly) I change about 5 gallons, which usually brings my nitrates from 20ppm to 5ppm . I’m not sure what kind of corals would thrive in these parameters or how I could lower/maybe even slow down how fast my nitrates rise ? I would love to add zoanthids, just don’t know how well LPS would cope with these levels! Also, all my other parameters are excellent and stable, it’s really only my nitrates that rise super fast. I feed my clowns pellets while every now and then feeding my sis shrimp. Thanks !
20ppm? Probably would be okay for zoanthids, yeah. Even LPS too.

I am rather more concerned about your nitrate readings, in that.
1. Doing a 5g water change on a 20g tank should not reduce 20ppm to 5. It should reduce to 15. I mean even if we account for true water volume in a 20g tank, let's say it's more like 15g rather than 20g, then that's still only a 33% water change, which should reduce values down to around 13ppm, not 5ppm. So that's odd.
2. A weekly water change that gets nitrate from 20ppm down to 5ppm and then back up to 20ppm would implicate 15ppm of nitrate produced a week, or 4.12ppm ammonia, or 0.5ppm a day. Which is actually quite a bit given there are only two clownfish in the tank. I feed A LOT and it pretty much only came out to be about 0.25ppm ammonia a day.

In a new tank it could be nitrites skewing the nitrates readings, but you did mention other parameters are excellent, so that's doubtful. Just feel kinda odd about your nitrates readings is all.

But if somehow it's the case for real, there are many ways to lower nitrates. My preference is an algae scrubber. :D
 
OP
Angel_V_the_reefer

Angel_V_the_reefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
106
Reaction score
41
Location
Houston, Texas
20ppm? Probably would be okay for zoanthids, yeah. Even LPS too.

I am rather more concerned about your nitrate readings, in that.
1. Doing a 5g water change on a 20g tank should not reduce 20ppm to 5. It should reduce to 15. I mean even if we account for true water volume in a 20g tank, let's say it's more like 15g rather than 20g, then that's still only a 33% water change, which should reduce values down to around 13ppm, not 5ppm. So that's odd.
2. A weekly water change that gets nitrate from 20ppm down to 5ppm and then back up to 20ppm would implicate 15ppm of nitrate produced a week, or 4.12ppm ammonia, or 0.5ppm a day. Which is actually quite a bit given there are only two clownfish in the tank. I feed A LOT and it pretty much only came out to be about 0.25ppm ammonia a day.

In a new tank it could be nitrites skewing the nitrates readings, but you did mention other parameters are excellent, so that's doubtful. Just feel kinda odd about your nitrates readings is all.

But if somehow it's the case for real, there are many ways to lower nitrates. My preference is an algae scrubber. :D
Algae scrubbers are a dream in my wishlist but for a nano, I like to be as simplistic as I can ! Yes I found my nitrate readings odd as well. My tank is only about 2 months old so I guess it’s still maturing. I feed my clowns once a day, usually 3-4 pellets each. I’ll definitely take pictures tomorrow after my water change and show you guys my nitrate readings and another before my next water change. I appreciate the help and I’m definitely looking for some Zoas and acans on my first frag swap !
 

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Marketplace Rating
View Shop
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
1,906
Location
Chicago
Algae scrubbers are a dream in my wishlist but for a nano, I like to be as simplistic as I can ! Yes I found my nitrate readings odd as well. My tank is only about 2 months old so I guess it’s still maturing. I feed my clowns once a day, usually 3-4 pellets each. I’ll definitely take pictures tomorrow after my water change and show you guys my nitrate readings and another before my next water change. I appreciate the help and I’m definitely looking for some Zoas and acans on my first frag swap !
By the way just to confirm, your nitrites is 0 as well right?
 

Biokabe

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
1,031
Reaction score
1,537
Location
Tacoma, WA
Algae scrubbers are a dream in my wishlist but for a nano, I like to be as simplistic as I can ! Yes I found my nitrate readings odd as well. My tank is only about 2 months old so I guess it’s still maturing. I feed my clowns once a day, usually 3-4 pellets each. I’ll definitely take pictures tomorrow after my water change and show you guys my nitrate readings and another before my next water change. I appreciate the help and I’m definitely looking for some Zoas and acans on my first frag swap !

Honestly, that doesn't seem like near enough food for a clown, nor does it seem like near enough food to be producing nitrates at that level.

What test kit are you using to measure your nitrates?
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

blasterman

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,909
Yeah....the math doesn't work here either.

If nitrates were stable at 5-10, or even 15 softies and acans would be fine.

One algae bloom though knocking nitrate down to zero and you can kiss those zoas good bye.

Typically tanks with light bioloads like this one tend to have higher nitrate post cycling and then it declines as bacteria stabilize. Still, nitrate volatility causes most of the coral problems in younger tanks and we need more clarity on where its at.

Small skimmer might be a better choice than a fuge.
 
OP
Angel_V_the_reefer

Angel_V_the_reefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
106
Reaction score
41
Location
Houston, Texas
Honestly, that doesn't seem like near enough food for a clown, nor does it seem like near enough food to be producing nitrates at that level.

What test kit are you using to measure your nitrates?
I am using the salifert test kits for everything and the Red Sea test kits for magnesium, alkalinity, and calcium
 
OP
Angel_V_the_reefer

Angel_V_the_reefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
106
Reaction score
41
Location
Houston, Texas
Yeah....the math doesn't work here either.

If nitrates were stable at 5-10, or even 15 softies and acans would be fine.

One algae bloom though knocking nitrate down to zero and you can kiss those zoas good bye.

Typically tanks with light bioloads like this one tend to have higher nitrate post cycling and then it declines as bacteria stabilize. Still, nitrate volatility causes most of the coral problems in younger tanks and we need more clarity on where its at.

Small skimmer might be a better choice than a fuge.
Yes I might have to look into a skimmer, my tank is still young, I’ll keep a very close eye and try to test every two days on nitrates tomorrow after my water change in order to track the nitrates closely
 
BRS

Have you ever grown your own live aquarium food?

  • YES and it was a success (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 62 23.4%
  • YES but I couldn't sustain it long term

    Votes: 39 14.7%
  • NO, I tried but couldn't

    Votes: 9 3.4%
  • NO, I have never tried

    Votes: 152 57.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 1.1%
AFX
Top